In an exciting new spotlight segment, students of CMASAS interview faculty members and fellow students! This article was written by CMASAS student, Shannon
Faculty Spotlight: Shannon Greenland
Shannon Greenland is not only a beloved CMASAS teacher and Personalized Education Counselor, she is also an award-winning published author of many young adult novels and thrillers. This week, I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her life as an author.
Ms. Greenland, thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions. When did you write your first full-length novel?
Ms. Greenland: I was in my late twenties when I wrote my first full length novel.
There are four different mentalities surrounding winning. The first we’ll look at is called Win-Lose. Have you ever caught yourself not wanting to share an idea with your peers because you’re afraid someone might steal and take credit for it? Or heard the story about the two boys being chased by a bear, when afterward, one said: “I realized I didn’t have to outrun the bear… I just had to outrun YOU.” This is a Win-Lose mentality. You only win when other people lose. “Win-Lose,” Covey explains, “is competitive. I call it the totem pole syndrome. ‘I don’t care how good I am as long as I’m a notch higher than you on the totem pole.’ Relationships, friendships, and loyalty are all secondary to winning the game, being the best, and having it your way.” And while competition may be a driving factor for most, creating a world where you only win when someone else loses is a sure-fire way to breed a life filled with negativity and paranoia, a life where you feel awful because you don’t have your friend’s designer jeans, or his flashy job.
By now, you’ve taken to heart Covey’s first habits and are working judiciously to become more proactive in making choices that reflect your personal mission statement/ long-term goals. Like a boss, you’ve now started makin’ your list (and checkin’ it twice!) and know exactly what your goals are each day. You’re so clever that each of these little goals perfectly align with your long-term goals. But then other things arise. Like that story in your newsfeed you’ll never find again if you don’t read it this second. Or your sister needing help building a volcano for science class. Or Bobo the Dog about to make on the rug. Or that trigonometry test tomorrow. (You get the idea.)
Teens today have too much to do and not enough time. That’s where Habit #3 comes in: harnessing the willpower to put first things first (and, Covey adds, the “won’t power to say no to peer pressure and less important things.”)
The first step in knowing how to put first things first is by learning the difference between important and urgent. Important things are things that further your personal mission. Urgent things are things that demand immediate attention. So what comes first? Urgent, right? Not necessarily! Things can FEEL urgent and NOT BE important. (See: Twitter War, Marvel vs. DC Comics.)
In our previous post, we explored Habit #1 in Sean Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” a book that helps teens live their highest aspirations. This book is so life-changing, we send it to all our full-time students upon enrolling. Today, we’re digging into Habit #2 in Covey’s book: “Begin With the End in Mind.”
Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind
Imagine a 1,000 piece puzzle set. You spill the pieces out onto the floor, then look at the box cover to see the image of what you’re making. It’s blank. How much longer do you think it will take for you to assemble this 1,000 piece puzzle when you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like when it’s done? This is the analogy Covey uses to explain the importance of beginning with the end in mind. If you have no idea where you’re going, it will take you considerably longer to get there.
A School Wide Skype Chat?
This featured student article was written by CMASAS student Drake
A month ago there were only a few limited ways for students to interact with each other and meet. Homerooms, clubs, and friends of friends of friends. On the 24th of January a new platform was released to the student population of CMASAS. A school wide skype chat!
The idea was formed by Cal Bunders, a former student of Calvert Education, who used to communicate with other students through a school wide skype chat. He simply put the idea by his PEC, Daisy Cheatham and she sent it on to Mr. Guay who approved of the idea.
In our previous post, we talked about Sean Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and how these habits help teens live their highest aspirations. (You can read it here.) This book is so life-changing, we send it to our full-time students upon enrolling. Today, we’re digging into Habit #1 in Covey’s book: “Be Proactive”, and exploring seven practical tips on how to build this habit.
Habit #1: Be Proactive.
Covey calls being proactive “the first step toward achieving the private victory.” “Habit #1 says ‘I am the force. I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. I’m responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness. I am in the driver’s seat of my destiny, not just a passenger.’”
So what does being proactive LOOK like? First, it’s helpful to know there are two types of people: Proactive and Reactive. Proactive people take responsibility for their actions. They brainstorm solutions, think about their options, and know what is in their control (and what is not.) Reactive people blame the world for things gone wrong. They don’t take responsibility, wait for things to happen to them, and think of problems or barriers instead of solutions.
Many people have heard of the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Stephen Covey wrote it in 1989, when it quickly became a top best-seller. The “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” came many years later, penned by Stephen’s son, Sean Covey. Sean says he wrote the book to give teens a compass to navigate the messy jungle of a teen’s world.
There are Seven Habits for Highly Effective Teens:
Habit 1: Be Proactive. Take responsibility for your life.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Define your mission and goals in life.
Habit 3: Put First Things First. Prioritize and do the most important things first.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win. Have an everyone-can-win attitude.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Listen to people sincerely. Habit 6: Synergize. Work together to achieve more.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Renew yourself regularly.
Art for Awareness by Raquel
This featured article is written by CMASAS student Raquel.
As Mrs. Fox mentioned in her recent email to the student body, mental health and suicide is something that touches many of our lives in every aspect. Unlike pain of any other kind, mental health illnesses can invisible at first glance, and perhaps that is why it often goes so undermined and dismissed. An aching reminder of this occurred in December of last year, when Kim Jonghyun, a South Korean singer-songwriter, author and artist, chose to end his life at 27 years old.
Jonghyun was a member of the worldwide popular group SHINee for 10 years and his unexpected death deeply affected many throughout the globe. His passing was mourned not only for his unique voice and poetic writings, but for Jonghyun's kind and dedicated personality which shined on stage as much as in his every day life. Despite the devastating circumstances surrounding Jonghyun's passing, two of his fans decided to make a move for positive change by formulating Project Blue Moon.
Being listless. Not caring about what used to bring joy. Feeling hopeless. It’s a daunting fact, but studies have shown cases of depression in Generation Z have risen dramatically. In light of the devastating consequences of what can happen when mental health isn’t addressed early on, The American Academy of Pediatricians has now mandated that teenagers receive annual depression screenings.
“It’s a huge problem,” Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot says, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, and associate professor at Columbia University: "What we're endorsing is that everyone, 12 and up, be screened ... at least once a year."
These screenings will typically consist of questionnaires teens fill out themselves, and can be done at annual check-ups, sports physicals, or in separate office visits. "Teenagers are often more honest when they're not looking somebody in the face," Zuckerbrot says, in regards to the negative stigma around mental health that keeps 50% of today’s depressed teens from being diagnosed. It’s hard to combat that kind of stigma face-to-face, but teens are more willing to answer questions about their mental health honestly in private.
Whatever your reason for choosing online education, the best resource in any classroom – physical or virtual – is the teacher. Many students, however, need a bit of help adjusting to online instruction, especially when transitioning out of the brick-and-mortar setting. That’s why we reached out to our Personalized Education Coaches (PECs) for advice on how to best utilize an online instructor.
Here’s what they had to say:
Use a Partnership Mindset – A teacher’s job is all about supporting the students! They ensure the material is understood, communicate with the parents on expectations and learning tools, and make sure progress is smooth and steady.
Sankalpa Bajpai - “Think of us as your teacher and your partner, because while we do teach, we’re also here to give you tips and tricks for how to get through the course efficiently and with high scores!”